Memorandum by Mr. Robert A. Fearey of the Office of Northeast Asian Affairs
Notes on Conversation Among Ambassador Dulles, Australian and New Zealand Ministers for External Affairs, and Staffs
Mr. Spender presented the text of a Pacific Treaty1 incorporating changes adopted by the Working Party2 the previous afternoon. Ambassador Dulles said that the Mission had prepared a new Preamble,3 and handed copies to Mr. Spender and Mr. Doidge. Mr. Doidge commented that the final paragraph, which seemed to look to the inclusion of Japan, went further than his Government would probably want to go at the present time. New Zealand was not yet ready to commit itself to any obligations with respect to Japan. Ambassador Dulles replied that he had not had the participation of Japan solely in mind, though he did think Japan’s inclusion desirable at the proper time, but was thinking also of other countries, including some on the mainland. As much as the U.S. cherishes its relationship with Australia and New Zealand, it could not believe that a pact with them alone is an adequate arrangement for the security of the vast Pacific area.
Mr. Doidge said that he recognized that fact but that the U.S. had bilateral arrangements with the Philippines and Japan. Mr. Spender asked whether the object was to protect ourselves alone or to achieve collective security. If we do not look beyond ourselves we will not get what we need. The U.K is right in stressing this point. Mr. Spender said that the language proposed by Ambassador Dulles seemed to him to fit the situation like a glove.[Page 165]
Ambassador Dulles said that the U.S. would be glad to have a pact in which the U.K. would be a member but that it did not wish to have the U.K., France and other colonial powers participate until they could be balanced by the participation of a number of Asiatic peoples. We do not want the tri-partite pact, if concluded, to appear to be the final word for the security of the Pacific area. There are too many countries left out. Mr. Doidge agreed but said that both Australia and New Zealand would have a hard job of selling any arrangement which seemed to involve Japan. Mr. Spender replied that it was essential that Japan eventually be brought in on our side of the fence and that we should begin to look to that day. He then suggested that the group go through the proposed text article by article.
Ambassador Dulles said that he had no objection to this article but wished to raise the question of whether the treaty should be as short as possible, containing only essentials, or should be a longer document including articles, such as this one, under which the parties affirmed obligations which they have already assumed in the Charter or elsewhere. Mr. Spender said that sometimes words have value simply as words and that he would prefer to retain the article. (The impression previously imparted by Australian officials was that the Government believed that a fairly long treaty would make a greater impression on Australian public opinion than a short document, even though the latter contained the same substance.) Ambassador Dulles said that a longer treaty would be acceptable to him if Mr. Spender and Mr. Doidge desired.
Mr. Doidge inquired exactly what was meant by the phrase “self-help and mutual aid”. Ambassador Dulles explained that the phrase was taken from the Vandenberg resolution4 of a few years ago, the force of which was that each nation party to an agreement of this: type should develop its own capacity to contribute to the common defense, and that the whole burden should not rest on one country. Mr. Doidge said that he had no doubt that the U.S. would help by whatever means appeared most efficacious at the time. Ambassador Dulles noted that the article refers to peace time mutual aid and not to a period of actual hostilities, dealt with elsewhere.
Ambassador Dulles suggested that the phrase “in the Pacific” be included at the end of the article. The suggestion was accepted.[Page 166]
Article IV, First Paragraph
Mr. Spender inquired what was meant by the reference to constitutional processes. Ambassador Dulles replied that the phrase was to be found in the United Nations Charter in Article 43. It had been inserted there primarily to meet the sensibilities of Congress, which alone under our Constitution has the power to declare war. The phrase, which also appears in the North Atlantic Treaty, makes clear that the President does not have this power. He said that he had taken an active part in the debate on the North Atlantic Treaty in the Senate. He had there pointed out that while it is quite true that under our Constitution only Congress can declare war, the question of making war is a different matter. War can be made by others, leaving us little choice. Congress has declared war in only one of the wars in which the U.S. has been engaged. In every other case Congress has found that a state of war already existed. Only in the unlikely event that the U.S. started a war would the phrase have relevance. It did not in fact therefore impose any serious limitation.
Ambassador Dulles noted that this paragraph was a paraphrase of Article 51 of the Charter.
Ambassador Dulles suggested that the concluding clause be revised to read: “under its jurisdiction in the Pacific or on its armed forces, public vessels or aircraft in the Pacific”. He said that he did not think that the treaty should be invoked if there were an attack on a private vessel of one of the parties, which might be engaged in blockade running or similar activities.
It was agreed that “Security Council” should be changed to “United Nations” and the word “primarily” deleted, in recognition of the immobilization of the Security Council and the passage of the Uniting for Peace Resolution.
Ambassador Dulles noted that this article had been included in the Atlantic Pact primarily due to the treaties of alliance which Britain and France had concluded with the USSR. He said that there appeared to be no need for it here. (Although it was not agreed at the time, the article was subsequently dropped.)[Page 167]
Article VIII (Article VII in later revised draft dated February 17)5
Mr. Spender raised the question of the site of the Council. He said that Melbourne was one possibility but was far from the Pacific. Another was Hawaii. The best site in the view of his Government, however, would be Washington. Australia already had its experts there and was frankly pushed for personnel. Also the Council’s work could be best performed at a spot where all aspects of the world situation could be appraised. Ambassador Dulles said that it could at least be agreed that the treaty should not specify where the site should be.
Article IX (Article VIII of later revised draft)
No objection was made to this article.
Article X (Article IX of later revised draft)
It was agreed that the phrase “and its provision carried out” was unnecessary in view of the inclusion of the provision regarding constitutional processes in Article IV, and should therefore be deleted. It was further agreed that the instruments of ratification should be deposited with the Government of Australia.
Article XI (Article X of later revised draft)
Mr. Spender said that he would like to see the life of the treaty made as long as possible. Ambassador Dulles said that he did not have any positive thoughts on the question but that his own personal feeling was that it would be advisable to have the treaty run indefinitely. He did not like to consider that the declaration in Article IV had any time limit at all. The Monroe Doctrine had no time limit and had remained in effect for 150 years.
Mr. Spender replied that the idea of an indefinitely continuing obligation appealed to him, but that he wondered whether there should not be a minimum period before any party could terminate its obligations under the treaty. Ambassador Dulles said that his idea was that there should be no time limit on the main declaration but that any party could retire from the Council at any time it wished. A treaty of this sort which had no validity except from the flow of words was actually void. The British and French treaties with the USSR were for 20 years but are already void in fact. Mr. Doidge commented that the Pact would find its success in the sincerity of purpose of the parties. (It was subsequently agreed that the article should provide that the treaty was to remain in force indefinitely.)[Page 168]
Article XII (Article XI in later revised draft)
It was agreed that the treaty should be deposited in the archives of the Government of Australia.
Ambassador Dulles recalled that the group had decided to go ahead and discuss the substance of a possible pact without deciding who the parties should be. Returning again to the questions of parties, he noted that there were strong objections to the inclusion of Japan in such a pact at this time. He had accepted this position for a good many reasons, among them the attitude of the U.K. The status of the Philippines had also been left undetermined. Mr. Allison had received the impression from Mr. Dening that the British would not have any particular objection to the inclusion of the Philippines. Ambassador Dulles said that the U.S. would not want to make any final decision regarding the Philippines until after the Mission had returned to Washington. It might then conclude that the exclusion of the Philippines would have such serious consequences that it would want to ask Australia and New Zealand to agree to the Philippines becoming a party.
Mr. Spender said that he understood. He accepted the proposition that the island chain extending from Alaska to New Zealand presented an integrated security problem, and he foresaw no real difficulties except on the question of Indonesia, which he believed would not want to come in. As to the Philippines, Australia had envisaged their being taken care of under the bilateral base agreement with the U.S. It preferred that the pact be limited to the three powers but would not resist the idea of including the Philippines if the U.S. Government thought that wise.
Ambassador Dulles said that President Quirino had expressed a strong desire to have the Philippines included in any Pacific pact, thereby formalizing the Philippines’ security relationships with friendly nations to an extent which could not be accomplished by the simple stationing of U.S. troops in the Philippines. Mr. Spender said that Quirino must have changed his mind in the matter since he saw him last May. At that time Quirino had said that he wanted the Philippines to be included, but when his advisors had pointed out that this would constitute a military alliance he had suggested that the arrangement be solely of a cultural and economic nature.
Ambassador Dulles said that the question of Philippine participation was a delicate and complicated one. He noted that there was much corruption in the Government but that the Philippines’ relationship to us stood as a valuable symbol. It was the feeling in the Philippines that if Formosa fell, it would be extremely difficult to preserve Philippine security due to the island-hopping possibilities which [Page 169] would be open to the Communists. It was very important that a hostile attitude not build up in the Philippines, now so concerned about their security. Military bases cannot be held in a country whose population is definitely hostile.
- Text of this draft has not been found in Department of State files.↩
- Information regarding the composition of this Working Party has not been found in Department of State files.↩
- A Preamble specifically identified as that presented to this meeting has not been found in Department of State files. However, there is no positive indication that the Preamble mentioned here differs from that printed as part of the draft of February 17, p. 172.↩
- Senate Resolution 239, 80th Cong., 2d Sess., June 11, 1948. For text, see Foreign Relations, 1948, vol. iii, p. 135.↩
- Reference is to the draft cited in footnote 3, p. 164.↩